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    Red Rice and Cherry Stuffing

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    Red Rice and Cherry Stuffing

    This recipe is for those who want a break from traditional stuffings. It has a wonderful nutty texture and the cherries have a strong fruity flavour with a sharpness that helps to counteract the richness of a traditional Christmas roast.


    • 75g pack semi-dried cherries
    • 75g Camargue red rice
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 3tbsp sunflower oil
    • 225g leek, finely chopped
    • 80g packet pancetta
    • 1 large egg


    1. Cover the cherries with cold water then leave to soak in the fridge overnight. Cook the rice in boiling salted water for 35-40 minutes or until just tender. Drain well then rinse under cold water to cool.
    2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the leek gently for 7-10 minutes until very soft but not coloured.
    3. Grill the pancetta until crisp and golden then drain well on absorbent kitchen paper.
    4. Roughly chop or crumble the pancetta. Stir into the rice with the leek. Cover and set aside.
    5. Drain the cherries and stir into the rice mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning then stir in the egg.
    6. Spoon the stuffing into a buttered 600ml gratin dish, cover with buttered foil and cook in a preheated oven 200°C, gas mark 6 for 45 minutes.

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    Cook's tips

    To freeze, spoon the stuffing into a freezer bag at the end of step 5. When required, defrost overnight in the fridge or a cool room and cook as above.

    Red rice is nutty and colourful. Try cooking it with orange juice instead of stock for risotto or pilaff to use up leftover turkey.

    To add extra colour to this rice dish use plenty of the green leek tops.

    If you want a delicious stuffing for vegetarian guests, substitute chopped chestnuts for the pancetta.

    Don't forget to start this recipe the day before you need it. It will keep overnight in the fridge.

    Notes on ingredients

    Ready-made fresh stuffings are an invaluable time-saver. Try Waitrose Pork, Apricot and Almond Stuffing or Waitrose Pork and Cranberry Stuffing.


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